Thursday, 12 May 2022

[MPOV] The Anniversary by Tara Sue Me (The Submissive Series)

My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 4.28/5
Published: March 28, 2022
Author: Tara Sue Me
Genre: romance, erotica, novella
He vowed to give her anything.
She’s ready to take him up on it.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling Submissive Series favorites Cole and Sasha return in a new novella that pushes them to decide how far they’re willing to go for love.

As their one year anniversary approaches, Cole and Sasha are more in love than ever. Cole believes he knows everything about his wife, which is why her request for their anniversary comes as a shock. Not only is it the last thing he ever expected her to want, he’s not certain he can make it happen.

Sasha stands firm, explaining it’s the one thing she needs to put the past behind her for good. But as she watches him struggle to balance his limits with her desires, she can’t help but wonder if she’s pushed him too far.
A big thank you to LibraryThing and the author for letting me read this awesome novella in return for my honest review. To be honest, this is my first time reading from this author and I am glad to have been given this opportunity.

Firstly, this is an erotica genre with some BDSM elements that most readers tend to shy away. I have read some in the past so I know what I am in for. As it is a romance novel, I've enjoyed the overall love and connection between Sasha and Cole. The only part I didn't like was the way they addressed each other. I just wasn't as comfortable with their terms of endearment LOL!

As this is a novella and part of a series (The Submissive Series), I am surprised that I can read it as a standalone and not get confused at all. The story was smoothly told with an easy pace, well written with the right dose of sex and not overly done. I have read some novellas which were packed with lots of sex that was uncalled for. This one truly has an elegant flair and knows it's limit, pun intended, LOL!

I would recommend this novella if you are curious about this genre. This will definitely not give you a heart attack LOL! In fact, I have enjoyed it much and felt it was a comfortable mushy read.

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Crochet Class @ Fabric Fanatics

Before the Covid-19 pandemic started, I have occasional crochet classes for beginners, normally at cafes. And then lockdown came along so no teaching activity for the past 2 years or so. After a long hiatus, I have finally started my first crochet class this year! It was a coincidence as I was at the right place at the right time and I just went with the flow, not hoping for much since I do have my day job and this is just my back-up plan for when I retire. After a few chats, I had my first crochet class at Fabric Fanatics, Summit Mall.
Thank you, Ashley, for having faith in me and given me this opportunity. I sure hope your Pokeball turned out good.

If you want a refresher class, we can have it at a mutually agreed cafe :-)
Thank you, Edel, for having me guide you through your WIP. I sure hope you managed to finish your shawl and booties :-)

If you are interested to learn crochet or you require a refresher class, please send me an email to discuss. My fee starts from RM100 for a 4 hours session.

Saturday, 30 April 2022

Community Book Sharing: Fumio Sasaki's Goodbye, Things

I have attended a few book discussions where it is the norm to read the book first and then attend the discussion. It is logical to read it first so that we can share our views or feedback of the book, which is the purpose of the book discussion. However, having to read it first may be daunting for me as I won't have the said book most of the time. Also having to finish reading it in time for the book discussion is also stressful and reading is supposed to be a relaxing hobby. As such, I have refrained from attending that many book discussions and also remained inactive in the book club I'm in. 
Recently, I came across this Instagram post by Revitalized Books about a Community Book Sharing event. This is something new for me as we can attend the session without having to read the said book first! The host will share some details and excerpts from the selected book based on a theme for that session. I was intrigued by the mechanism so when I saw the theme for April was ''minimalism'', I just had to attend it! The selected book was Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki. Coincidentally I have read that book lah but if I haven't then I can considered it as ''completed" for my Goodreads challenge at the end of the session! It sure beats reading the full book, right?! Also, the book sharing sessions here are for non-fiction titles which is a plus for me as I rarely reads non-fiction!
Overall, after attending this session last April 3rd, here are my 2 cents:

1) I saved time trying to read the book as there are too many books with too little time to read it all
2) I can rent the book from Revitalize Books (they are an online book rental shop) or borrow the book from the library if I really want to read it so I can save more trees
3) I can complete my book reading challenge faster!
4) I made new friends with like-minded interests
5) I can destress and enjoy the session with some light refreshments
6) This event is held every 2 months once so it is less taxing and more enjoyable this way

Here are the themes for the rest of the sessions:
5th June: Creativity
7th August: Rest / Sleep
2nd October: Happiness
4th December: Mental Health

The event is held at The Hatchery Place, a cozy in-home coworking and coliving space in USJ 11. It costs a mere RM20 for each session. If you are interested, you can follow Revitalized Books' Instagram for more deets:

Here are some photos of the session:
The host and owner of Revitalize Books, Ai Jou, explaining about the session

Group photo!

Yummy light refreshments!

Friday, 29 April 2022

[MPOV] Lies that blind

My rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 4/5
Published: October 19, 2021
Author: E.S. Alexander
Genre: Historical fiction, Asian literature
Lies That Blind is eighteenth century biographical fiction set in the East Indies, based on a true story. Narrated by Jim Lloyd, a young aspiring journalist, the story is set around the life of Captain Francis Light. He was a British pioneer who created the settlement of George Town on the Malay island of Penang.
Malaya, 1788:

Aspiring journalist Jim Lloyd jeopardises his future in ways he never could have imagined. He risks his wealthy father’s wrath to ride the coat-tails of Captain Francis Light, an adventurer governing the East India Company’s new trading settlement on Penang. Once arrived on the island, Jim—as Light’s assistant—hopes that chronicling his employer’s achievements will propel them both to enduring fame. But the naïve young man soon discovers that years of deception and double-dealing have strained relations between Light and Penang’s legal owner, Sultan Abdullah of Queda, almost to the point of war. Tensions mount: Pirate activity escalates, traders complain about Light’s monopolies, and inhabitants threaten to flee, fearing a battle the fledgling settlement cannot hope to win against the Malays. Jim realises that a shared obsession with renown has brought him and Light perilously close to infamy: a fate the younger man, at least, fears more than death. Yet Jim will not leave Penang because of his dedication to Light’s young son, William, and his perplexing attraction to a mercurial Dutchman. 

I would like to thank the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read and review this e-ARC. After having read books about Penang from authors like Tan Twan Eng and Tash Aw, I was excited when I heard of this novel. So here is my honest review......

Overall, this is a well-written novel based on Francis Light's friendship with James Lloyd, his assistant. I am amazed at how well it was written, with perfect punctuated English and explained in detail especially of the surroundings, of the flair or plots, trying to bring us, the readers, into the world of James Lloyd.

Unfortunately, as I continue reading it, I do find the prose to be monotonous and eventually it fell flat for me. At some point, I did speed read as I just want to finish it and also to know how it eventually ends. There were a few key plots revolving around James Lloyd implicating Francis Light, his wife, his son, a Dutchman, a Nakhoda and a Sultan with an unexpected twist. All in all, I liked how it has ended though I wasn't expecting it to end that way.

If you are looking for some historical Asian lit to read, this can be an interesting choice as the author did provide lots of background details in order for readers to understand the era way back then.

Saturday, 23 April 2022

[MPOV] The Tale of the Hostage Prince (Absolution #1.5)

My rating: 5/5
Goodreads rating: 4.20/5
Published: April 14th, 2022
Author: Anna Tan
Genre: fantasy, magical, historical fiction
Yosua wears an uneasy crown. Although he is now Raja of Bayangan, he still longs for the land of his birth where everything was much simpler…and less deadly.

But peace doesn’t come easily, not for a twenty-year-old servant playacting at being king.

With his parents brutally murdered and his uncle bent on revenge, Yosua must decide where his loyalties truly lie. With his only remaining relative and the kingdom he has claimed? Or with his best friend Mikal and the sultanate that raised him as a hostage?
I'm glad to be given the opportunity to read and review this awesome novel! Unfortunately I took a while to complete it as work and family got in the way, as usual...

After reading the first book, Amok, I was hoping to read from Yosua's point of view as he seemed like an underdog, someone less favourable since he was born and raised as a servant but is now the king! It did intrigued me on how he would behaved and managed Bayangan, whether his people would give him their full support or otherwise since his religion and belief are Mahan and not Bayangan. 

Like a rags to riches story, Yosua is now the king of Bayangan but he is having an identity crisis due to his upbringing as a Mahan. When his parents were killed, he sought his Uncle's help to find the killers and also assistance to rule Bayangan. However it was an unwise choice as his Uncle turned on him and framed Yosua as a traitor instead, ousted him to be left for dead in the middle of the sea. As luck would have it, Yosua's boat reached Mahan soil and Mikal gladly welcomed him as his esteemed guest.

Was it luck or was it Kudus' blessing that brought Yosua to Maha? Yosua has to embrace his beliefs and be true to himself, as how he was brought up by his parents. He has to also decide on his next course of action as he slowly realized his Uncle's true colours. With the help of his loyal supporters, he gained the kingdom's trust and revealed his Uncle's unworthiness to the whole of Bayangan.

I truly enjoyed how the author build this imaginary world and made it sounds so real! I am honestly a fan and follower of this Absolution series and I can't wait for the next chapter on Mikal! This is definitely a breath of fresh air, unlike other conventional fantasy fiction and the localized content is a plus for me! Even though it's historical, the context is still relevant and current. The ending was expected but it was tastily done and I can't wait to catch the next Absolution especially after reading the epilogue!

If you are interested in this series or other books by Anna Tan, you can check out the author's website:

My sincere thanks the author and publisher again for both e-ARC and ARC! I truly apologize for the delay in finishing and reviewing this. I truly loved the beautiful cover art!

Thursday, 31 March 2022

[MPOV] Cassidy Smith, Book One: The Gray Man

My rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 3/5
Published: September 23, 2021
Author: Paul Wilson
Genre: Paranormal, fantasy
18-year-old debutant Cassidy Smith returns from a summer party to find her home burned and her family murdered.

Fueled by a need for revenge, she journeys across a weird and haunted western landscape, all the while pursued by a powerful Magician on his own mission of revenge.

Cassidy journeys to find the being responsible for her state, the mysterious Gray Man, and avenge her stolen life. But Cassidy is a reluctantly hero. Driven by a selfish desire for blood, she is still a flawed and angry child. Her journey for revenge is also her journey to womanhood.

Will Cassidy follow her family tradition of honorable monster hunting, or will she simply evolve into a cold-blooded killer? If she manages to win through, how much of her soul will remain? What is left for a killer once the gun has cooled? What remains for a woman with no ties?
Thank you to the author, publisher and LibraryThings for the opportunity to read and be immersed in this creature killing novel! I hardly read paranormals so when I chance upon this, I gave it a try. It sure reminds me of a female Van Helsing LOL! 

It's well written, filled with revenge plots yet with a soft spot at times and a likeable female protagonist. The continuous adventures, from the death of her family to when she finally found The Gray Man, were quite engaging... making sure we are kept on our toes. Definitely angst-filled especially when Alan, Cassidy's husband, died a horrible death!
We are made to help those who ask. We exist to fight evil in all it's glamour.
If you are into paranormals, then you should give this novel a try. Although this is just book one, it can be read as a standalone.

Monday, 28 March 2022

[MPOV] The Girl Who Belonged to the Sea (The Azantian Trilogy #1)

My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 3.89/5
Published: September 28, 2021
Author: Katherine Quinn
Genre: Historical romance, fantasy, adventure
One woman chosen by the God of the Sea. A king hellbent on saving his mysterious island home. And a forbidden romance that could destroy them all.

Forced to marry the wealthy Count Casbian by her power-hungry father, Margrete turns to the gods, praying for a life free from the men who wish to rule her. Across the sea, a ruthless immortal answers…

Planning to use Margrete to reclaim a powerful relic stolen from his people, Bash, a devilishly handsome king, kidnaps Margrete on the day of her nuptials. Bringing her to his home, the mystical island of Azantian, it isn't long before a devastating secret is revealed—one that ties Margrete to the gods themselves.

Drawn to the spirited woman he's sworn to hate, Bash cannot stay away from Margrete and the passion she ignites within him. When the lines begin to blur, Margrete must make a choice between a fiery love, and saving the realm from the dangerous magic awakening inside of her soul.

The first book of this exciting fantasy trilogy is perfect for readers who love high-seas adventures, swashbuckling heroes, and forbidden, steamy romance. Fans of Danielle L. Jensen's The Bridge Kingdom, and Sarah J. Maas's A Court of Thorns and Roses will be enthralled.
Thank you to the author, publisher and LibraryThing for giving me this opportunity to read this awesome novel!

The Girl Who Belonged to the Sea is the first of The Azantian Trilogy. It's about Margrete and Bash, from their uncanny encounter to when they fell in love, an adventure that changed their lives forever. The novel is filled with magic, Gods, hatred, deception and love... I've truly enjoyed the adventurous plots and the world building that makes it engaging! It ended as it should but with a little cliff-hanger from the little epilogue which leads to book 2... I'm sure there are more hurdles and excitement to continue Margrete and Bash's adventure. 

If you like historical romance with a dash of pirates and fantasy, this is definitely up your alley.

Saturday, 12 March 2022

[MPOV] Indigo

My rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 4.06/5
Published: 14/2/2020
Author: Paula Berinstein
Genre: Historical fiction, romance, time travel

I would like to say a huge Thank You to the author for this opportunity to mingle and enjoy Esther's time travels!
What would you do if you suddenly found yourself mistress of an 18th-century plantation?

Esther Rubens is looking forward to getting to know her new community in South Carolina and repairing her troubled marriage. But as soon as she arrives in Charleston her life begins to diverge from the idyllic picture in her mind. Her physicist husband, Melvin, is arrested for driving while black, she inherits a strange English property from a cousin she didn't know existed, and she learns that her great-grandmother Sophie, a brilliant scientist kidnapped by the Nazis, discovered the secret of time travel of all things.

Intrigued by Sophie’s cryptic journal Melvin begins to experiment with time travel, but his anger at the police makes him careless. The process backfires, killing him and throwing Esther back to 1750. Attacked by an unknown assailant the moment she arrives, she seeks protection at an indigo plantation belonging to a dashing planter with a dangerous secret, negotiating a deal that guarantees her safety. But she soon realizes she’s made a terrible mistake. What she discovers on the plantation is far more horrific than anything she could have imagined. Overwhelmed, she attempts to flee just as the planter’s mysterious, handsome brother arrives from England seeking refuge—and offering an opportunity that’s too compelling to turn down. But can he be trusted? And are the two of them strong enough to vanquish the evil that’s pervading the lowlands? Only time will tell.

The first title in the Indigo series.
At the start, Esther and Melvin seemed like any other mixed coloured couples until they migrated to the Southern region where trouble awaits them. At this point, I found the intro to be a little long as it gets a bit repetitive and I tend to skip through more. 

Once the inheritance arrived, it felt like an adventure is about to begin but it was a little too fast as the whole thought process or world building from then on was not consistent. At some points, it was not as detailed and the plots were too briefed. On the other hand, it became not as realistic. I could not get into the story itself and I just couldn't imagined it. However, the gist of it was still intact and the outcome of the story was not what I thought it would be, which is good. 

Esther and Jesse were just too obvious, like they immediately succumbed to Daniel's request without batting an eyelid! When Jesse knew of Esther's true identity, the story turned for the better. So much adventure from then on and no one seemed to notice this 2 were so besotted with each other! The ending was unexpected and it did had a little cliff-hanger effect since this is a series.

All in all, I was excited that this is a time travel romance as I had enjoyed The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I did placed a high expectation on it which I shouldn't have. Also with my current long drought of reading slump that didn't help as much. As Goodreads have pointed out, there are many good reviews of this novel so if you are not as nitpicky as me, go ahead and read this novel!


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